Participatory Budgeting Update

Great things are happening as the PB50 Project moves forward!

Petitions are being circulated through the 50th Ward, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.  Residents truly want to be involved in improving our ward and have many ideas for how menu money could best be spent. If you are a registered voter and  haven’t yet signed a petition, or if you’d like to volunteer a few hours to collect signatures, please contact us at or

Thea Crum, Director of UIC’s Great Cities Institute’s Neighborhood Initiatives program, spoke at our June 30 meeting. Thea presented new information about PB Chicago; she is both GCI lead staff person as well as a member of the North American Participatory Budgeting Research Board. There are some changes to the program beginning with 2017, including a lowering of the voting age for PB projects to 14 (from 18). You can learn more about GCI and participatory budgeting here.

The week has also brought two discussions of participatory budgeting, one local and one national.  DNA Info wrote a great story about our efforts to bring participatory budgeting to the 50th Ward (published July 6). And Time magazine, in its current (July 11) issue, names participatory budgeting “…one of the reasons to celebrate America,” ranking it 83rd of Time‘s 240 reasons, one reason for each year of our nation’s existence.

The PB50 Project Steering Committee is hard at work planning the next community meeting. Watch this space for date and time!

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